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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

ACADEMY OF MEDICINE OF CLEVELAND

ACADEMY OF MEDICINE OF CLEVELAND

The ACADEMY OF MEDICINE OF CLEVELAND (as of 2005, the Academy of Medicine Cleveland and the Northern Ohio Medical Association, or AMC/NOMA) was formed on May 28, 1902 (incorporated in 1924) through a merger of the CUYAHOGA COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY and the CLEVELAND MEDICAL SOCIETY. The academy held meetings on experimental medicine and chemical pathology for members and professional physicians. From its founding, the Academy of Medicine was closely allied with the CLEVELAND MEDICAL LIBRARY ASSN., which provided a temporary home for meetings. The academy held general meetings in the Chamber of Commerce Building until 1906, when it moved to the CMLA's building at 2318 Prospect Avenue. The academy later followed the CMLA to Allen Memorial Library on the Western Reserve University campus. In 1960 the academy relocated to Carnegie Avenue, where it remained until 1979 when it moved to Cedar Avenue. Meetings attracted an initial membership of 459, which grew to over 600 by 1912. In 1919 the academy became the first in the country to employ a professional administrator, which boosted membership to more than 700 within two years, and to more than 1,000 by 1926. In 1995 membership totaled 2,477.

In 1999 the society added the Northern Ohio Medical Association to their name and expanded their focus outside of Greater Cleveland; the new organizational acronym became AMC/NOMA. The organization's mission was to support physicians in their roles as strong advocates for all patients; another objective was to promote the practice of the highest quality of medicine. The AMC/NOMA accepted physician members, associate members, group members, medical advocacy members, resident members, medical student members, and other categories from the contiguous counties in Northeastern Ohio. The AMC/NOMA also represented Northeast Ohio's medical community through legislative action and community outreach programs. By 2005, the newly organized group had a membership of more than 4,000 medical professionals.

Throughout its 100-year history, the organization was consistently been involved in community health issues and has promoted modern techniques. In the 1920s, it successfully moved tonsillectomies from school clinics to hospitals. The academy presented a radio program, lectures on PUBLIC HEALTH in the 1930s, a 1953 TV series "Prescription for Living" (dramatizations which featured a doctor and actors from the CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE), and the 1958 radio show "The Doctor Speaks" (later "Healthlines," sponsored by BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD MUTUAL OF N OH). Continuing the public-health tradition, in 1957 the academy set up the GREATER CLEVELAND POISON CONTROL CENTER, one of the world's first. It orchestrated immunization campaigns against polio in the 1950s and 60s, and rubella in the 1970s. In the 1960s the academy deliberated and held public debates on Medicare and Medicaid, ultimately accepting the new programs. Concerned members helped create the HOUGH-NORWOOD FAMILY HEALTH CENTER and were active in regional health planning (see HOSPITALS AND HEALTH PLANNING). In 1976 the academy reorganized into five divisions: legislative affairs, political affairs, ethical standards, peer review, and negotiation with third-party carriers.

In 2005 the AMC/NOMA offered community services such as physician referrals, pollen line, and Tel-Med library, as well as web site services for members, including free listings, and access to state legislators. The AMC/NOMA was located at 6000 Rockside Woods Boulevard and Elayne R. Biddlestone served as the organization's Executive Vice President/CEO.


Academy of Medicine Records, WRHS.

See also MEDICINE.


Finding aid for the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland Records. WRHS.